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October 9, 2012

Milan bus drivers, substitute teachers to get pay raise

Cindy Ward
Staff Writer

Dr. Thomas Reale's proposal to raise bus drivers' and teachers' pay was met with unanimous approval at the September meeting of the Milan Board of School Trustees.

Dr. Reale presented the bus driver salary and benefits package to the board for approval. He commented this was the package that had been discussed previously at a work session, but with a few minor changes. He said the long routes would pay $70; short routes, $55; special needs routes, $65; and Career Center $55, with an added $10 if that was the driver's only route.

Other benefits include $12 per hour for field trips, plus an extra $10 pre-trip if the field trip is on a non-school day; $20.00 per hour for meetings; four sick days per year, accumulating to 30; one personal business day; sick leave incentive pay; and three bereavement days for immediate family and one day for extended family.

The corporation will pay $3,200 a year for a single health plan or $6,200 a year for a family plan; the premium for a $50,000 life insurance policy; the cost for a CDL physical, not to exceed $100.00; contribute up to three percent to a matching annuity; pay $100 a year to drivers who park their bus at home, and pay $100 towards a CDL after a driver has six months tenure. The motion was unanimously approved.

Dr. Reale presented the classified employee handbook for members to read. The handbook explains procedures and benefits, as well as contains an appendix outlining job descriptions. He noted that job descriptions were reviewed by personnel, supervisors and principals for accuracy. The board was asked to read the handbook and email questions or concerns to him before the October meeting.

Dr. Reale also proposed raising the rates for substitute teaching. He said the last raise was issued in 2001 and current pay rates are not competitive with other area school corporations. His proposal included non-teacher substitute, $65 per day, raised to $75 after the tenth consecutive day; and teacher substitute, $70.00 per day, raised to $75 after the tenth consecutive day. He noted presently a certified teacher is paid per diem after the tenth day and a bachelor's zero years is $229. Reale said the pay raise would cost the corporation approximately $8200 per year. The proposal was approved.

The following lease agreements were motioned by Lewis and approved unanimously by the board:

• St. Nicholas to use the elementary gym free of charge on various dates for their volleyball games.

• MIST to use the swimming pool for free on various dates from October 1 to March 20, working around Milan swim team and elementary program schedules.

• The Milan Scholarship Foundation to use the elementary kitchen and cafeteria for its annual turkey dinner on October 28. It was decided that there will be no charge for custodial help, since money raised is used to benefit students.

• Margaret Mary Community Hospital to sponsor open walking at the elementary school beginning October 1, from 4-7 p.m., free of charge.

Amberger motioned to approve the resolutions to adopt the 2013-15 capital projects fund plan and the 2013-24 bus replacement plan. The motion carried.

Dr. Reale presented a proposal from Patterson' Nursery for lawn care for 2013-2018. He noted Patterson's has been doing the lawn care for the past three years and the school is very satisfied with the service. The proposal is for a yearly cost of $20,820 which is only $800.00 over what it has been for the past three years. Mr. Patterson stated the extra cost is due to the rising cost of fuel. Tuttle asked what would happen if the cost of fuel skyrocketed, but was assured the contract would be binding. He then questioned whether the lawn care should be put out for bid. The contract was approved.

Dr. Reale proposed a change to policy #8020 for a first reading. The change states: delete – "As per state law, the cost of the expanded criminal history check will be borne by the applicant"; and replace with – "For certified and classified employee applicants, the cost of the expanded criminal background history check will be borne by the Corporation." The change was recommended by the principals and would cost about $280 per year. Members were asked to consider the change and will vote on it in October.

Dr. Reale reported that a committee is working on a technology grant. He plans to prepare a class size report and present it at the October board meeting.

In attendance were board members Gregory Lewis, Edward Amberger, Timothy Tuttle, and Linda Baker. Also attending was Superintendent Dr. Thomas Reale, and school attorney, Larry Eaton. Randy Kirk was absent.

In other news:

• Lori Walke, parent, then addressed the board about her concerns on how she was notified regarding a change in her children's bus route. She said that she was notified by her child on a Friday of the change to take place on a Monday. Tuttle expressed concern by the board and told her they would take her comments under advisement.

• Dr. Reale presented a resolution to transfer $160,000 from the general fund to the rainy day fund. He said the excess monies were from federal stimulus money received last year. This would make the total balance of the rainy day fund approximately $700,000. All were in favor.

• Lewis motioned to approve a field trip request from Matthew Hurst, high school choir director, to take four to eight high school choir members overnight to the Indiana Jazz Festival being held at Butler University November 9 - 10. The motion carried.

• Baker motioned to approve a fundraising request from Brianna Kraushar and Kady Alloway to hold a cheer clinic on December 15. The motion was approved.

• Maternity leave for Spanish teacher, Emily Halcomb was approved. It was also approved that Malena Smith will substitute teach during the maternity leave of Michelle McKittrick.

• The board approved Jamie Craig as an elementary special needs aide until the end of the 2012-13 school year. This position will be funded by ROD. Carol Kimla was approved as a substitute bus driver, retroactive to July 9.

• Lewis motioned and the board approved the following extracurricular recommendations: Theising as the boys' reserve basketball coach; Andrew Young as the boys' freshman basketball coach; Andrew Moore as the girls' varsity basketball coach; and Carol Jackson and Alyssa Parr as co-sponsors of the middle school student council.

• Amberger motioned and the board approved vendor checks, payroll checks, deposit advice, and the financial report.

• Reale thanked attendees and congratulated the elementary school on their "kick-off" event that evening. He also introduced Wanda Burnett from Ripley Publishing, who introduced Cindy Ward as the new reporter to cover board meetings.

Amberger said that he contacted State Rep. Randy Frye about the railroad crossing on 800E. He encouraged those in attendance to contact Representative Frye and CSX railroad to try to get cross arms and flashing lights at this crossing to make it safer for buses to cross. He thanked Dr. Reale for writing a letter of concern to CSX about this problem.

The next regular meeting of the Milan Board of School Trustees is set for 7p.m., October 15, in the school administration building.

Holton receives big boost from big check!

It was a big check the Holton community was given from proceeds from the Road to Recovery Bash, sponsored by The Napoleon State Bank. On September 18 the check for $30,000 was presented from the bank and its committee members to the Holton Long Term Recovery Group (HLTRG), which is overseen by the Ripley County Community Foundation, to help with people who lost so much during the deadly March 2 tornado in Holton.
"We had an awesome committee of community and bank people to serve on the BASH event committee," noted Christy Sutton, HR & Marketing Officer for the bank. She said they were truly blessed by God with leaders, businesses, musicians, churches, volunteers, donors, neighboring towns, and spectators to put such an awesome event together. "I'm proud to live in such a great community and work for such a giving company," Sutton stated.

Pictured front row from left are: Cynthia Melton (HLTRG), Anna Wilson, Shawna Bushorn, Christy Sutton; second row from left: Keith Swinney, Phyllis Nighbert, Tammy Cope and Holley Meador, committee; back row from left: Phillip Deiwert (HLTRG) Mark Comer, committee; Darin Kroger HLTRG), Tony Franklin, Bob Curl and Mike Mathews, committee. Committee members not present for the photo included: Abby Asher, Jennifer McIntosh, Tammy Dilk, Ruth Ann Adkinson, Patty Harrell, Karen and Dave Reynolds, Kari and Tammy Moore, and Jordan Arnholt.

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